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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tools of the Trade

I was asked recently by inspector gadget about a new gimmick, these so called bouncer sprays. I don't know of any doorman worth his badge who enjoys being known as a bouncer. They're advertised as looking like CS spray cans or pepper spray cans. They smell bad and claim to contain a UV dye to aid in identifying the sprayed after a period of time. I don't know anyone who'd want to use this for work. If it acts as a reassurance for those who fear attack then I suppose it has some place. For any doorstaff who fear attack, another profession would seem sensible.

A few observations about sprays. Getting a dose of pepper spray when you're caught in the police crossfire as they attempt to chemically subdue a punter is no fun. The stuff gets everywhere. I can only imagine these low spec versions will do this as badly if not worse. If this got used inside a venue it would likely be smelling like a sewer for at least the rest of the night. That'd be walking orders for just about any doorman.
As to the dye element, that worries me a whole load more. I've seen the mess when a dye marker for cash transit is triggered in a busy bar. More ambulances and breathing difficulties cases than you ever want to see.

To be legal the spray can't contain any noxious chemicals. People react to all sorts of chemicals and even wristbands and sticky plasters can send folks to hospital. I don' think with aromatic chemicals, propellants, solvents, dyes and whatever else is in there. I would never be happy using one or working with anyone who did. I wouldn't expect any manager I know, from pub to bar to nightclub to let his staff use these.

It's a tool for the fool. I rely on being good at what I do, not on any gadget more complex than a one button radio system or a torch. Even then those aren't for subduing, annoying or restraining the punters, that I can do all by myself.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old Haunts

I've been working a few nights covering an unexpected departure at a venue in the town I've not been at for a while. Things have not changed. The same chavs are still repeating the cycle of getting themselves kicked out, getting themselves barred for carrying on outside, getting 3-6 months of being refused. Then we let them back in and they behave for 1-2 months, then they have a bad night and they get kicked out again and haven't learned not to kick off and the get barred again. It's pointless. They spend a load of cash, buy a load of booze and end up causing a little bit of trouble a load of times.

What gets to me is when they know they're barred for a while, they still come round every night they're out and try and get in. We have barred you, we will normally remember you. If not on the front door, we'll remember them when we see them inside, then they'll be shown the door and the barr extended. But every night they try. I've explicitly told a few, don't come back here 'til June, or go away for three months, then we'll see. It makes not the blindest bit of difference, these chavs are stuck in a pointless socialising, drinking rut. This return to the venue just made me aware of how little I miss the place and the poor quality of locals the town suffers from.
At least with stag and hen do's, they're from out of town and we don't have to see them every night of the week.

I never thought I'd welcome stag and hen parties but at least its not the depressing monotony of watching young and possibly capable folk drink and spend their way to social immobility. The lads never stop unless imprisoned, it's very sad to see 40+ men in sports casual wear. The only thing that seems to stop the girls is having a baby. That only works 'til they can leave the bairns with their olds while they look for baby father No. 2,3,4.....

Monday, May 12, 2008


Too many folk think that doorstaff are thick.
Some may not be too sharp but most are. This extends to remembering a face one night to the next. We see a lot of folks every night but the ones who cause bother, or the ones we think might in future, usually get logged in our sober bored minds, however tiny.

We're not likely to wander round the corner to listen to some drunken muppet 'apologise'. We'll keep where the lights and cameras cover. We don't like being out-numbered, out-gunned or out manoeuvered and we're normally bright enough not to let it happen.

If someone comes up with something new and interesting and it trips us up we'll find out about it sooner or later. Then everyone we work with and know from working with will find out fairly soon. Then the trick stops working and normally only shows it's face when doorstaff change and someone'll try it on thinking we don't pass on this kind of information between ourselves.

We're not infallible, we're not geniuses but we're not too dim to make our job safer and easier for ourselves. Obviously, if you don't like a fellow doorman, you can let them fall into something obvious just for shits and giggles but it's best if they or the punter don't end up with blue light taxis of either sort.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


The excessive sunshine, the extended absence of work, the ready supply of premium lager and the over-abundance of fancy dressed hen parties. Most folk see the bank holiday as an opportunity to get up to all the little occasional tasks they don't seem to find the time for on a normal weekend. Whether it's off to the DIY superstore, the in-laws or the weekend break by the seaside.
For those who don't have things saved up for the bank holiday, the three day weekend looms as a massive drinking spree. When you usually drink, as the lower end of our clients do, 5 nights a week only getting out of your mind drunk on the Saturday, you savor the bank holiday. When sunny, as the thing was this end, it's a full three days off work, with beer gardens, top end sport and the ever rotating groups of hen nights in fishnets and bunny ears, devil horns, nurse's uniforms or police women's outfits.
Then as the sun sets its off to throw up near me. Blowing colourful chunks in the queue, in the reception, in the bar, on the dancefloor or even for variety, throwing up in the toilet. By the end of the monday night, yes it still kicks off on monday too, the whole place stinks worse than ever and all I want to do is get to bed for a long un-interrupted sleep.
What I don't want in the slightest is to be clearing out on the monday night, really far too early on a tuesday morning, to see two scrotes, having survived the night sipping warm weak lager slowly, swinging for each other. I didn't attempt to talk this one down, I didn't attempt to separate and cool them off. I just scooped them up together, shouted very loudly to make some space and landed them clear of the front door to sort it out. Not my usual diplomatic self but hot, sleep deprived, physically expended and fed up with the stench of vomit you don't get the best of me but at least it was quick and relatively mess free.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Young Guns

This week I've been having some fun with a new lad.
He's unnaturally big, from injections, weights and 5 low fat protein meals a day at least. He's got a big gun show which he's more than ready to flash to pretty young vacuous things.
He gets stuck in, keeps trouble to a minimum and doesn't blow his top like alot of the other vein bulging freaks.
When it's midweek and we've got drunken students falling left right and centre with vomit appearing in random places every five minutes there was a slight scuffle. New lad gets there first. I leg it in and find him with one lad under each arm, looking to all the world like he's carrying a pair of carpets. He's grinning from ear to ear and it all seems under control. That is until we try and extract the two into a more exit friendly arrangement. The one I grab gives in and an anorexic pygmy in a tie could've gotten rid of him. The other one didn't. Finding the young one now had a spare hand the punter decided to see what he'd do with it.
The answer is to pin his two elbows together in the small of his back and steer him by his jaw into the un-open side of a double fire door. Young gun, still grinning, got his now mostly pacified punter to the door. The two thought about going at it again in the street but with me quietly saying it was a bad idea and young gun still grinning they wandered their way on without incident.
The phrase carrying carpets is often used to describe a certain over-built physique, young gun proved it's worth, this time at least. One day he'll get caught, but 'til then he'll still be grinning and making ladies swoon at his over-ripe biceps.